By Bob Evans
To some at the Ohio Historical Society, it’s just a rifle.
To the people of Carroll County, it’s special.
Following a long three-year process, the Henry Repeating Rifle believed to have been carried into battle by Daniel McCook Sr. during the Civil War was returned to its rightful place, the McCook House Museum in Carrollton.
“I am so overjoyed it’s here,” said Museum Curator Shirley Anderson.
The rifle is currently on display in the Civil War room in an airtight, temperature-controlled secure case.
It will be returned to the OHS in the fall for storage through the winter and returned in the spring.
Anderson is responsible for getting the ball rolling for the return of the rifle.
“I was here for a visit and Shirley (Anderson) said to me ‘where is the rifle’,” said Richard Prasse, president of the Board of Trustees of the Ohio Historical Society.
“I brought it up at our next meeting and was told it was on display with our Civil War sections and things just went from there.
“The rifle will be much more appreciated here. It is a piece of Carroll County history.”
The return of the rifle highlighted the grand re-opening of the museum, which underwent a $625,000 renovation project.
Anderson showed Prasse how bad the condition of the building was and he went to work to secure funding for repairs.
“I went to Mark Okey, who represents Carroll County in Columbus, and he incorporated the cost into the capital budget,” Prasse said.
The Federal-style brick house built in the mid- to late-1830s received repairs to its interior and exterior walls and foundation, a new porch, heating and air-conditioning systems, new electrical wiring and the reinforcing of the main structural beam through the center of the house.
Plus, each room received a fresh coat of paint and refurbished floors.
Visitors to the museum described it with words like beautiful, gorgeous and wonderful.
“This is just gorgeous,” said Elaine Myers of Carrollton, as she toured the museum. “It is just so beautiful.”
Yolinda Diamond of Harlem Springs was making her first visit.
“I have been by this place many times, but have never come in,” she said. “This is wonderful, just gorgeous.”
The McCook House is open to the public every Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday from 1-5 p.m. through Labor Day.
Admission to the museum is by donation.